Arcade dreams

followthehumming

Galaxian machineDiary date: 29th May, 1985

Galaxian, Pac-Man, Defender, Space Invaders, Track and Field, Star Wars. Worlds of wonder when anything seemed possible.

Engrossing, state-of-the-art video games in colourful, custom-made cabinets. Seedy arcades in gloomy rooms with sticky, concrete floors. Tumbling coins landing loudly on silver-metal trays. Piercing, earworm music looping endlessly. A grabbing claw, too frail to carry off its booty. Armies of upright fruit machines, bandits’ arms poised and ready. Air hockey, shoot ’em ups, water guns, penny falls, basketball and bingo. A horse race on sticks with a random, last-minute winner.

Games you wish you were good at.

Players huddled round glowing screens, murmuring appreciatively as the latest level starts. Initials rolling upwards in a slow scroll. A hi-score that speaks of unseen worlds.

Games you wish you had the cash to play.

Checking shiny trays for the forgotten coppers that could be just the start. Longing looks…

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Notes on Email

OLD MAiL

Famous Authors’ Handwritten Outlines for Great Works of Literature

Flavorwire

Writing a novel (or a story, for that matter) is confusing work. There are just so many characters running all over the place, dropping hints and having revelations. So it’s no surprise that many authors plan out their works beforehand, in chart or list or scribble form, in order to keep everything straight. After the jump, you’ll find a mini collection of those planning papers, so you can take a peek into the process of some of your favorite authors, from James Salter to J.K. Rowling.

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How I Cured My Anxiety

CharlieHoehn.com

fireworks

UPDATE: As of July 2013, this article is the #1 search result on Google for “how to cure anxiety.” In this post, you will learn about the key breakthrough I had that freed me from my mental prison. More than anything else, this change in how I viewed the world gave me my life back. It’s helped tens of thousands of readers, and I hope it can help you as well.

If you’re interested in reading my short memoir, which includes my weekly schedule and every technique that helped cure my anxiety, click here.

Now… on with the post!

# # #

For a long time, I thought I was going crazy. I’d convinced myself that something horribly wrong was about to happen. I thought I would be stabbed, shot, or arrested every time I left my apartment. I was sure that there was an impending disaster that would melt the…

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The Origin Of Species: The Musical

Delight Through Logical Misery

437px-Charles_Darwin_1880

The curtains go up. On the Origin of Species, published on 24 November 1859 by Charles Darwin is considered (correctly I would argue) to be the foundation of evolutionary biology. Its original full title was On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life which was later changed around 1872 to the shorter, The Origin of Species. It was perhaps felt that “the preservation of favoured races” sounded dubiously racist when in fact this wasn’t what the title was referring to at all. Of course the last thing anybody would do is falsely co-opt evolutionary theory to promote their own despicable and prejudice agenda. Right?

Darwin’s book introduced the scientific theory of natural selection. I am aware of the excellent work of Alfred Russell Wallace and you should definitely watch Bill Bailey’s brilliant TV series on the…

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What happens when the pursuits of “skinny” and “strong” collide?

Fit and Feminist

By now I’m sure most of you are familiar with the saying “Strong is the new skinny.”  It shows up fairly regularly on fitspo images and in fitness circles as a way of promoting a new standard of female beauty, one that is focused on strength and physical power instead of weight loss and restriction.  The words are often accompanied by photos of women showing off glistening muscles while they pose with weights or perform feats of bodyweight strength.  If you have spent any time at all in the fit-o-sphere, you’ve seen what I’m talking about.

Now, I support the general idea behind the phrase.  I would prefer that women – and men, really – work to cultivate their bodies’ abilities rather than fight against them in an attempt to meet our culture’s incredibly fickle beauty standards.  But I also have some issues with the execution, which, as I…

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It Wasn’t The Cell Phone, It Was Me (Short fiction)

imagesCANXP22SI have wanted to talk to Annabelle for quite some time. We have had dinner, movies, and an afternoon at the park. We seem to be enjoying one another. I know her job is important and she has many friends, but really; the constant interruptions by text messages and phone calls leaves little time to end what we have started talking about or for that fact start. I can’t tell you how many amusing stories I told her and never have been able to get to the amusing part. When she returns to the conversation it is as if nothing was said prior.

The other day we met for coffee. I was not going to insist she put her cell phone away, but I was determined to stay on the subject.

Well we had a formal greeting, ordered our coffee, and sat on the side walk accommodations at our favorite…

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Brevity in Communication: Twitter vs the telegram

#Tweet
#KOT

The Victorianachronists

While Twitter has become a wildly popular new means of communication, it has not been without its critics.  Questions like, “What can we say that is meaningful in 140 characters?” and “What are we losing by keeping our social interactions so brief?” have abounded since Twitter’s inception.  The value of brevity, however, is not a new concept.  In the late 19th and early 20th century, one of the most efficient ways to transmit important information rapidly over great distances was the telegram.

Telegram authors had an incentive to be brief – most telegram companies charged per word.  As a result, authors took some common shortcuts used in the Twitterverse such as dropping pronouns and articles and using abbreviations and code words to maximize information and minimize characters.  So forced brevity in communications isn’t really a new concept at all. In fact, telegrams were often used to convey life-changing news-births, deaths…

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Why I just deactivated my Facebook account – #FBrape

#FB

Sonsie's Basement

I reckon Facebook annoys most of its users from time to time. The surreptitious changes to your privacy settings, the new timeline, the relentless push towards a ‘share everything’ mindset. Until this week, my own bugbear was the insistent promptings to add my favourite films and books every time I log in on a pc. Facebook had even come up with some helpful suggestions (Dirty Dancing and Twilight), making me wonder if they think I am, in fact, a 14-year old girl.

Until now I’ve put up with these irritations because I have friends, family and colleagues on Facebook, and I’m mildly nosy. I like to see what they’re up to. Granted, there is the odd boring picture (I don’t need to see your dinner!) that doesn’t improve the quality of my life, but generally it’s worth it.

Today I deactivated my Facebook account. The #FBrape campaign of the last…

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How to Make an Indie Movie

The Ginge Binge

Seeing as I am a recently graduated film student, it is only fitting that I put my newly found free time to good use by writing a screenplay. This is a standard cliche that all jobless young adults do once they have earned their degree in Production, and I figure now is as good a time as ever to get crackin’ on it.  Alas, knowing full well that I have zero connections in the industry and a negative income, the production value of said film will be next to nothing if it ever is going to be produced, and would undoubtably be an independent film with next to no budget.

Now, I have done my fair share of indie-movie watching in order to master my knowledge on the subject, and I have come to the conclusion that there are 15 things that every indie film needs in order to be…

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